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May 9, 2013

The College Admissions Officer: A Wealth of Information

Diane Kummer

If your teen is college bound, the 11th and 12th grade years will be consumed with researching colleges, narrowing down the list of colleges to which your teen will apply, and then completing college applications . You may even be considering an alternative college route. Along the way, questions are sure to come up. Who can you turn to for answers? The College Admissions Officer!

In most cases, college admissions officers are positive towards homeschooling. I find that the ones I speak with are very interested in talking with me about the reasons that parents homeschool, different philosophies of education, and how homeschoolers can be assets to their schools. If you run into an admissions officer who doesn’t seem to be positive towards homeschooling, it’s mostly likely he or she does not understand homeschooling or may not have encountered many homeschoolers in the past. This may be your opportunity to educate and enlighten them!

Colleges welcome homeschool applicants, and some schools provide their homeschool admissions polices on their websites. You’ll find that admissions policies for homeschoolers are not much different from those required of public or private school students. Usually, you’ll be asked to provide a transcript  that shows your teen is ready for college level work by the high school courses he completed during high school. Many schools also require SAT or ACT test scores. Colleges are interested in the extracurricular activities your teen participated in, and your teen may need to provide letters of recommendation.

Any questions you may have regarding the college application is best answered by the college admissions officer. One college admissions officer told me that it’s best for parents not to gather information from other students (or even professors!) because admission policies change over time. It’s best to receive answers directly from the people making admission decisions.

Remember that a college admissions officer’s job is to identify students who are likely to succeed at that particular college and who are a good “fit” for the school. See this goal as being helpful to you as a parent, because that’s your goal, too!

One tip that a college admissions officer recently asked me to share with parents is to consider the application deadline as being one month earlier than indicated. In other words, if the application deadline is January 1st, consider the deadline in your mind to be December 1st. This cuts down on stress, gives you plenty of time to gather information necessary to complete the application, and gives you a “buffer” for any last minute snafus. 

College admissions officers are wonderful sources of information, so don’t hesitate to contact them. 

Becky and I are also available to HSLDA members if you have general college admission questions. We’d love to chat with you!

-Diane

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